The more, the better, say Poe, Binay, Roxas
DAVAO CITY — Finally, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila on Friday, November 27, through his lawyer Salvador Medealdia.
Duterte officially joined the presidential race with filing of his COC after personally withdrawing his COC for mayor with the local Comelec office and then filing a certificate of substitution naming his daughter, former Mayor Sara, as his replacement for mayor.
Duterte’s CoC as a substitute presidential candidate, however, will still have to be approved by the Comelec.
Meanwhile, Duterte selected Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as his runningmate.
Sara subsequently filed her COC for mayor as Duterte’s substitute. Since she will not have opponent like her father, she will be formally elected as mayor with just one vote in the May 9, 2016 elections.
Immediately, the other presidential aspirants, including survey topnotcher Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares and erstwhile leader Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration candidate former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, welcomed Duterte to the race, saying the more candidates, the more choices for the voters and merrier.
The Vice President welcomes the entry of Mayor Duterte in the presidential race. The people should be afforded more choices in 2016 said Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman.
“The moral issues of poverty, hunger and unemployment need to be addressed decisively by the incoming president. Under Vice President Binay’s leadership as city mayor, Makati succeeded in reducing poverty from 1.6 percent in 2009 to 0.05 percent in 2012. He walks the talk, and has proven his executive ability and real compassion for the poor. This is what Vice President Binay offers to the people,” Salgado added.
Duterte made his decision after a Pulse Asia survey which was well publicized in the Manila media indicated he was the leading candidate in the National Capital Region, surpassing Sen. Poe, Binay and Roxas.
The result of the privately commissioned survey, conducted from November 11 to 12, said 34% of the respondents said they would vote for Duterte if the elections were to be held during the survey dates.
A previous Pulse Asia survey in September showed 27% of Metro Manila respondents said they would vote for Duterte.
Sen. Poe ranked second to Duterte in the survey with 26%, down from 31% in September. She is followed by Binay with 22% (from 26%), Roxas with 11% (from 13%), and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago with 7% (no rating in September).
“I crossed the bridge of rubicon. I place my future in the hands of God,” Duterte said during a press conference at Task Force Davao before heading to Sarangani province.
While he was sad that he would lose part of his privacy to klieg lights, Duterte said he has no regrets.
He said he would not know what would bring him to the crossroads in life.
The mayor vowed to abide with Comelec and accept its decision regarding the substitution process. “I will forget about qualms – I will accept gracefully,” he said.
He reiterated that his decision is a matter of principle adding that this is his time to face the Filipino people. He highlighted the need to protect the Constitution.
“Pag hindi sinunod and Constitution (If the Constitution is not abided) what would prevent others to violate,” he said.
If he makes it – part of his platform is to stop corruption and continue a hardline stance against criminality.
“Either makuha ko ang gusto ko (Either I will get what I want) or I will perish and go somewhere else,” he said.
Either I will deliver or I will resign and give to others the helm of the presidency. He mentioned the military and police which are better armed versus crime.
“I will give the Filipino a comfortable life…corruption has to stop…and criminality,” he said.
Duterte said he will not accept offers of money as campaign kitty.
If there are offers, Duterte said he would tell them not to invest on him but to invest on the country instead to help the economy.
While he vowed no compromise, he said he will look for other means to fund a campaign machinery.
Federalism will be the centerpiece of his campaign, he said.
He vowed to protect the Constitution.
While many leaders supported Duterte’s candidacy, a Quezon City registered voter opposed it by asking the Comelec to nullify his COC for president.
Ruben Castor of Bagong Silang, Quezon City, in his petition submitted to the Comelec, noted that based on the CoC submitted by Martin Dino, the CoC filed by Duterte was for the mayoralty post and not for the presidential post.
“The CoC of respondent Dino is for Mayor of Pasay. Therefore, he can withdraw his candidacy only for Mayor of Pasay and not for President,” he said in his eight-page petition.
He added, “There is clearly no candidate for president who is withdrawing his candidacy for the same position of president; there is none that respondent Duterte may substitute.”
Castor explained that Duterte could not substitute Dino since the latter’s CoC was invalid.
“He (Duterte) should not substitute Dino whose COC is void, legally inexistent and without legal effect; hence substitution shall be likewise void…The CoC of Dino, consisting of false representations is void for being against the mandatory provision of law,” he added.
Likewise, he pointed out that Duterte was nominated by Hugging sa Tawong Lungsod as mayor for the said city, and not by PDP-Laban, the party he belongs to.
“It is most respectfully submitted that the honorable commission should not allow a travesty of justice and the law, distortion of truth and make it legally possible for the commission to give due course to the substitution of respondent Dino by respondent Duterte for the position of president,” Castor said.